Sewing Machine Attachment Tin Pfaff Dwarf

Sewing Machine Attachment Tins

Issue 84
May 2006
Bob Stevenson

Many collectors of also collect other items associated with – oil cans, oil bottles, Singer puzzle boxes or sometimes almost anything connected with Singer. (We have three Singer stools in our house, but that's another story).

Pfaff Zwerge Dwarf Sewing Machine Attachment Tin with Signature

However, I felt I had to show the Pfaff Zwerge or dwarf tin which is quite well known and very collectable. It dates from about 1906 and must be the only tin with the artist's signature on the front.

Two interesting and attractive tins came from Biesolt & Locke who started making in 1869 in Meissen and in 1893 made the Afrana rotary. Eventually all their machines were called Afrana and Seidel & Naumann continued with the name after buying up the rights in 1918. The odd thing is that both the Biesolt & Locke and the Afrana tins have mirrors on the inside of the lid. Why? Perhaps it was to reflect the gaslight and help the search for a small attachment or needle? Anyway it didn't seem to catch on.

Biesolt & Lockeb Sewing Machine Attachment Tin        Afrana Sewing Machine Attachment Tin

Afrana Sewing Machine Attachment Tin Open

Many tins have lithographed pictures of the company's factory on them, sometimes in monochrome on the inside of the lid, or in colour on the outside as with the Original Victoria, from Mundlos of Magdeburg.

There is considerable detail in these drawings if they are enlarged.

Sewing Machine Attachment Tin with Factory

Sewing Machine Attachment Tin with Factory         Sewing Machine Attachment Tin with Factory

One other group of tins that are attractive and collectable are known as 'handbag' 'casket', or 'Kästchen' tins. These were for the Original Victoria, from Mundlos of Magdeburg and for Seidel & Naumann machines from Dresden.

Original Victory Sewing Machine Attachment Tin        Original Victoria Sewing Machine Attachment Tin

Sewing Machine Attachment Tin with Handle       Vintage Sewing Machine Attachment Tin

Original Victoria Sewing Machine Attachment Tin

There are several different versions of these and also French and Italian versions as well as German. I know of at least one more version of the Original Victoria that I don't have yet.

Some dates can be estimated by medals shown on the tins. Although, like patent dates on plates, the dates will only indicate that the tin must have been produced after the latest date shown, it would be reasonable to assume that it would not have continued to be made much later than the date of other awards shown on other tins.

Medaille D'Or Lubeck Sewing Machine Tin

e.g., one Original Victoria tin shows off "Goldene Medaillen" won at Tasmania and Lubeck in 1892 and 1895; another shows these plus awards from Petersburg and Magdeburg in 1904 and a third lists these awards together with others dated 1905.

Golden Medallion Sewing Machine Tin         Golden Medallion Sewing Machine Tin

ISMACS is an organization totally independent of all sewing-machine manufacturers, past or present and is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in these pages.  Please Note: Do not contact any ISMACS official in an attempt to solicit a valuation - it is not possible other than by hands-on assessment and your request will be ignored.